Since flying solo from hip-hop duo U-N-I in 2010, LA-based MC Yonas Michael has made a strong impact on the progress of the West Coast sound. Incorporating strong sampling techniques, hard-hitting beats and an effortless flow into his latest single, ‘Blessed,’ Yonas takes on the challenge of rapping over a 6/8 time signature similar to the classic Jay-Z track, ‘My First Song.’ Yonas’s forthcoming album ‘Black Swan Theory’ is due to drop later this year.
We chat to Yonas about his latest single ‘Blessed,’ his experience going solo from U-N-I, and what we can expect from his upcoming album Black Swan Theory. Ayla Dhyani writes.
You’ve just release your single, Blessed. Tell us about the inspiration behind the track.
My approach was to be open and let my fans into ‘Yonas Michael world.’ The message is to always count your blessings, good or bad. Producer, Professor H and I were just exchanging problems we were dealing with at the time...so our energy was on the same wave. Music wise, we wanted to capture high and intense energy through lyrics and music.
How has the response been so far?
From my perspective, it's been an excellent response and reaction from my fans. Nothing but daps and pounds in the streets.
How has the experience been since going solo from U-N-I?
Everything I have visioned has come into fruition. I changed the cards I was dealt and on a new solo wave that feels good. Don't get gas’d though, it was rough getting the spaceship off the ground in the beginning.
What is the most surreal moment you’ve experienced in your career so far?
I am getting a lot of love from the UK from my new single ‘Blessed’. I didn't expect it at all. Sounds like a UK tour for ‘Black Swan Theory’ is approaching.
What can we expect from your upcoming album ‘Black Swan Theory?’
Expect the unexpected as usual. I blended a lot of different sounds within the hip-hop genre. It's a musical trip of soul, funk, earthy, surfy, edge, sex, intimacy, personal and fun. Expect to hear at least five songs from this album that I will have to perform for the rest of my life.
Who first inspired you to follow a career in music?
A-Dot, who's featured on my song ‘Loui Fendi’. He taught me how to write a song with structure. That dude is gifted and passed on the music light to me at an early age.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
Working on a clothing line and other music projects with no title yet.
What stimulates your soul?
Family, music, success and happiness.